Albany teen's contested haunted house becomes smash hit

ALBANY, Calif. (KGO) -- In the East Bay, a teenager's haunted house was given the green light to open its doors and spook trick-or-treaters this Halloween despite his neighbor's objections. After a contested hearing, the city of Albany finally granted the teen a permit.

Sam DuBois and his Albany Haunt Productions successfully entertained people and kids in the community Friday night and he'll do it again Halloween night. However, despite his hard work and good intentions, he learned that not everybody appreciates his work.

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It's a haunted house that brings out neighborhood volunteers and benefits the Alameda County Community Food Bank.

Neighbor Page Miller said, "I think it's a sign of a great community. I was impressed."

DuBois started his haunted house two years ago, but this year it was met by complaints about the crowds, the noise and building code violations.

Despite one neighbor's appeal, the city of Albany issued the teen a permit allowing him to operate for two nights if he met several fire and safety code requirements.

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"I've learned a lot about city government. Both fire code, building code, just how the process works," DuBois said.

Neighbor Leslie Firestone said, "I think it's wonderful that teenagers are doing something positive and creative and giving back to the community."

Haunted house participant Will Schlough explained, "They have a crazy light and technician person working it. He's only 16, but he has a very expensive sound board and knows an extensive amount."

The appeals process forced DuBois to cancel last weekend's opening which means he might not collect as much food or money this year. Still, the attention is attracting widespread support that he hopes will bring in more help for the food bank.

The haunted house, located at 1048 Peralta Avenue in Albany, is open from 7-9:30 p.m. Friday night and 6-10 p.m. Saturday night.

There is a suggested donation of $5 for the Alameda County Food Bank.

For young children wanting to experience the haunted house, there is a gentler version per request.

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